Disney's Mary Poppins sequel is moving forward in the right direction, with Emily Blunt entering talks to play the magical nanny last week. Today, Variety has word that Lin-Manuel Miranda, the star and creator of the hit Broadway sensation Hamilton, has engaged in talks with the studio to play Jack. This character is said to be a lamplighter, who resembles Dick Van Dyke's character Bert from the original Mary Poppins.
This new Mary Poppins project will be set in the 1930s, 20 years after the events of the original movie, in Depression-Era London. The plot follows the adult Michael Banks, who now has children of his own. When his big sister Jane returns to town, after falling on hard times, their beloved Mary Poppins comes back to help. The story will be pulled from author P.L. Travers' eight literary sequels, including the first follow-up Mary Poppins Comes Back, but it isn't known if this theatrical follow-up will be adapted from a specific story within those books, or if it will be an amalgam of those stories.
The first Mary Poppins movie was released in 1964, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, with the story set in 1910. The movie went on to become a huge success, grossing over $100 million at the box office, and winning five Oscars, including Julie Andrews' win for Best Actress. Walt Disney's arduous journey to adapt P.L. Travers' beloved book was turned into the 2013 movie Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers.
Rob Marshall is directing from a screenplay by David Magee (Life of Pi and Finding Neverland). Rob Marshall is teaming up with musicians Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray), who will compose original songs and a new score. The filmmakers are also working with P.L. Travers' estate and the project has the blessing of Mary Poppins composer Richard M. Sherman, who wrote the movie's famous songs like "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" with his late brother, Robert B. Sherman.
Lin-Manuel Miranda has already established a relationship with Disney, after it was revealed that the Hamilton creator did the Cantina music in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he is also composing the score for Disney's animated movie Moana. Before starring in and creating the stage blockbuster Hamilton, he also appeared in Disney's The Odd Life of Timothy Green. What do you think about Lin-Manuel Miranda playing the lamplighter Jack in Mary Poppins?